By Diane Small
We all want to live a long and healthy life and sometimes put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do so: we can set strict lifestyle regimes which can often leave us feeling unbalanced and lost, floating from one extreme to the next, not really knowing which direction to take to achieve a balanced mind and body.
Finding that equilibrium is the exact goal of The Reflection of Balance Retreat. This is a retreat with a difference, offering everything from boxing and high intensity training to meditative painting and mindful movement sessions. Pick and choose what suits you–if you’re in the mood for lounging, just relax by the pool or take a stroll to the local shops. There’s never any pressure to participate; you tailor your days to suit your needs.
I opted to participate in all the delights to get a true sense of what was on offer. Some days consisted of morning exercise sessions followed by a wholesome breakfast and relaxation time before lunch and then free time until afternoon yoga began. On an exploration day we’d be out of the villa early morning after breakfast and on our way to one of many excursions, from a picturesque cycling tour in Ubud, to visiting the beautiful children at Bali Life Foundation orphanage, a day which really touched my heart and left me teary, with a burning desire to help.
Witnessing how the Bali Life Foundation rescues women and children from the streets and helps them to learn a trade so that they can provide for their families was an eye opener. Watching the women turn “rubbish” into well-crafted gifts filled my heart with hope. The upcycling of Balinese waste into a wage for people in need is an incredible win/win situation for all and I am so glad that I could see this beauty in action.
A Varied Feast
While the food is not all vegan, it is all locally grown and prepared by a talented chef who caters for all tastes. The menu is planned to include gourmet, health conscious meals, with a focus on the nutrition and energy going into the food. Avoiding the meat or dairy selections on offer, I opted for lots of fresh tropical fruits and vegetables throughout my stay. I particularly adored the array of fresh local tropical fruits and scrumptious smoothies presented to me every day for breakfast.
Lunch varied and depended on whether we were in the villa or on an excursion, but no matter where we were I was always completely satisfied with the options available, which included homemade raw and vegan treats. I learned that there are healthier alternatives for all the naughty temptations I love (think: dark chocolate instead of milk, vegan cheesecakes instead of dairy) and I’m finding that I actually prefer these new forms of indulgence.
Near the end of the trip, I opted to get some ozone therapy to top up the benefits of the retreat. This basically introduces pure intravenous oxygen to your bloodstream, cleaning arteries and veins while stimulating the production of white blood cells and purifying the blood and lymph, amongst many other incredible health benefits related to immune and brain function.
I found a gorgeous little place called Nano Philosophy in Seminyak to do this. Having had cancer I know all too well about the benefits of ozone therapy (cancer cells cannot survive a blast of CO3) so experiencing this therapy had been on my “to do” list for a while. As well as getting the ozone, I opted for the Nano cocktail which has all the essential vitamins and minerals your body requires for maintaining cellular health and overall wellbeing. After my session, I walked away feeling extremely clear headed and lighter, with my body functions showing an improved change of the next week or so.
I shall certainly be making return visits whenever I am in Bali and would highly recommend everyone looking into these treatments for longevity and overall health. There are ozone therapy clinics all over the world, so take a look and see if you have one near you, or plan a trip away to somewhere that can accommodate you–it’s well worth it!
I arrived to the retreat alone, but by the end, I had made many friends with whom I’ll definitely be staying in touch. To say our farewells, the staff and guests all enjoyed some ‘goodbye cocktails,’ emphasising the resort’s philosophy that ‘a little bit of what you fancy does you good’. Personally, I stuck to my smoothies as I don’t actually enjoy drinking anymore; I had reached that point of balance that best suited me, which was a great realisation to have.
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